From: GLENN WOODEN (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Mar 29 1996 - 12:11:11 EST
This is one of those questions for which we need a FAQ. It comes up
every two or three months. There must be someone who could digest
what we have discussed before and send it out at the appropriate
time. I've not kept the previous posts on the construction.
The problem with Carl's proposal that the phrase refers to fidelity
beyond death is that in the same discussion (1 Tim. 5:3-16,
specifically 9 and 14) the author counsels young widows to remarry.
This would most certainly disqualify them in the future for the benefit
that widows could draw upon based upon their being married only once!
Maybe it's a hollow phrase that came to mean simply a "faithful
husband/wife" and we are exegeting it word by word but the
recipients of the letter would not have understood it at that level.
> I've sort of supposed (don't know whether it could be proved) that it
> represents the Roman ideal expressed in the Latin adjective "univira,"
> which refers to a woman who has had only one husband--not divorced or
> widowed and remarried. The fidelity extended beyond death to a single
> husband was thus esteemed in words, however frequently or infrequently in
> Carl W. Conrad
Acadia Divinity College
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